Harpenden schoolboy branches out with photo

THE SKY is the limit for a clever young fundraiser from Harpenden.

George Poole, 12, was the winner of a competition set by his school, Beechwood Park in Markyate, to come up with an innovative fundraising idea in aid of Keech Cottage Children’s Hospice.

Inspired by a Halifax TV advert shot from the air, Year 7 pupil George, who lives with his parents Sue and Alistair and younger brother Edward, came up with the idea of shooting and selling an aerial photograph of 500 Beechwood pupils standing in the shape of his school’s new tree logo.

George organised everything himself, from hiring a cherry picker courtesy of EPL Skylift in Flamstead to persuading Adam Berry of Pr�t-a-Portrait Ltd - the company that usually takes Beechwood’s class and team photos - to climb aboard the crane and take the aerial photo last Friday (28).

George, who dreams of being a vet like his father, said that he had to be brave when organising the shoot: “I was really nervous when mum and I went to visit EPL on the way home from school, because I didn’t know how they would take a visit from a 12-year-old boy! But luckily they couldn’t have been more helpful and they even offered to reserve the cherry picker for two days in case it rained on the first date.”

He added: “Our deputy head teacher Mr Packer helped me work out where each year group would stand for my photo, so that the older children in their blazers formed the tree trunk and branches, the junior department boys in their green shirts could look like leaves and the girls in summer dresses could be the blossom.”

George’s brother, who is in Year 3 at Beechwood, was also in the photo alongside his lower school friends, who formed the base of the tree in their white shirts.

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Sue said that she was very proud of her son and added: “I’m amazed that George managed to convince everyone to take part! He certainly has a way with words. George has always been interested in trying to make things good for other people and we are all pleased with how well the photo turned out.”

Mr Packer added: “George really used his initiative to organise the event entirely on his own and it’s probably true to say that we have never before managed to get so many children to stand so still for over half an hour!”